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Updated: 4/13/2007 3:36 pm
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime in every state, whether it's called driving under the influence, or DUI (D-U-I); driving while intoxicated, or DWI (D-W-I); or operating under the influence, or OUI (O-U-I). If you're injured in an accident caused by an intoxicated driver, you can sue for compensation and possibly for damages. It's important to find out the identity of the other driver and the name of his or her insurance company. If you're not seriously injured, the police may be able to assist you with this information at the scene of the accident. Even if your injury is not serious, contact an attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help you obtain copies of police reports, monitor appearances by the other driver in court, and discover the court's findings. Your attorney can also help you with insurance companies and file a claim for damages in civil court if required. Most states have a crime victim compensation fund, and if you're injured in a DUI-related accident and can't receive compensation from the offender's insurance company, you may qualify for compensation for medical and other expenses. Crime victim compensation funds generally only cover actual expenses up to a certain amount. To obtain damages, you must file a lawsuit against the perpetrator in civil court. Most crime victim funds can also compensate the close relative of a person who's been fatally injured in a crime, including a DUI-related crime. If you'd like more information about DUI-related accidents, contact an attorney experienced in this area of law.

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